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Dishtv to pay Rs 500cr to US-based interactive tech provider

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Essel Group's DTH arm dishtv today said it will pay Rs 500 crore over a period of five years to its US-based provider of enabling technologies for advanced digital television services Open TV, to deploy its software and interactive services.

The two companies are in a multi-year license agreement to deliver a variety of advanced interactive television services, including PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) and EPGs (Electronic Programme Guides) to its subscriber base.

''We will pay Rs 500 crore to Open TV owned by Liberty Media, over a five year period, for all the interactive solutions which the US-based company has provided to us,'' dishtv Business Head Jawahar Goel told reporters here.

The DTH operator, which unveiled its Sports Active service today, is expected to break-even in the 2008-09 fiscal, leading its subscriber base to touch 4 million from the current 1.38 million subscribers.

The interactive sports programme comes after rival Tata Sky, the satellite television from Tatas and Star, launched its 'Actve Sports' service last week, coinciding with the England vs Pakistan one-day cricket series.

The Essel Group forayed into the interactive services two weeks back with the launch of its News Active service on Zee News.

The service launched in cooperation with Zee Sports, offers features like multi-angle viewing, where the viewers can choose different camera angles -- main, vary or stump camera.

Another feature is the multi-language commentary. The upcoming DLF Cup series would provide commentary in English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati and Malayalam.

Highlights of the matches will also be available to the viewer as and when he requires it. Besides, players' statistics, updated every five seconds during the tournament, will also be provided on demand.

Mr Goel said the group will launch other interactive services for business and music in another three months time.

The services will initially be available on the group's business channel Zee Business and music channels Zee Muzic and ETC.

The group is also in talks with other news and sports channels like ESPN, Sony and Setmax, to seek cooperation for offering the active services.

''We are in talks with other channels as well, but I cannot divulge further details at the moment,'' Mr Goel said.

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